Concerts

Anderson East – Bowery Ballroom

Anderson East - Bowery Ballroom

Anderson East might’ve said on stage that he felt intimidated by New York, but he sure didn’t show it during his performance last Friday night at the Bowery Ballroom. From his opening song “Find ‘Em, Fool ‘Em and Forget ‘Em” to his closing cover of “All These Things That I’ve Done,” Anderson had the sold-out crowd dancing and singing along to every word of his 17-song set.

Along with running through all the tracks from his debut album Delilah, Anderson sprinkled in a number of crowd-pleasing covers throughout the show, including a surprisingly fun version of Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby.”

After missing out on getting tickets to Anderson’s Mercury Lounge show over the summer and seeing him play just a handful of songs a couple months ago when he opened for The Lone Bellow, it was really good to see him play a full set. While he sounds great on his album, he’s even better live. He’s got the voice and charisma to grab your attention, and the talent to keep it. Plus, he knows how to work the crowd. Ever the charmer, he gave a few lucky fans roses from the stage as he closed out the show.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Go see Anderson live if you can. And if you missed him, hopefully some pictures from the front row will help tide you over ’til he tours again.

Advertisements

Muse – Barclays Center

Muse - Barclays Center, Brooklyn (1/27/2016)

Last year I was lucky enough to not only grab a ticket to Muse’s show at Webster Hall, but also to get a coveted spot in the front row. Since the Webster Hall show, Muse has embarked on another tour to promote their new album, Drones. And while their recent show at Barclays was much, much larger, their new 360° stage setup helped a lot in bringing the band closer to its fans.

Camera in hand, I made my way to the barricade again and snapped up some shots of the band. Check out some of my favorites below! And while you’re at it, maybe throw this on in the background.

Concert Catch-up

The last couple months have been hectic, but I was still able to catch a few great concerts. Since I last posted, I’ve seen The Low Anthem, Patrick Watson, Barnstar, Josh Ritter, Lydia, The Early November, Josh Ritter (again!), Damien Rice, and Andrew Bird play. Pretty awesome, if you ask me. Check out some pics and a brief recap of each show below.

The Low Anthem and Patrick Watson – Music Hall of Williamsburg (5/28/15)

The first time I saw The Low Anthem was when they opened for Josh Ritter in Tarrytown in 2009. I had no idea who they were, but loved everything they played. Since then, I’ve tried to catch each of their city shows.

In May, they opened for Patrick Watson. Seemed odd to me since they’ve headlined tons of shows here before, and I’d never heard of Patrick, but figured I’d go anyway. It was a good choice. While I came to the show for The Low Anthem, it was Patrick’s set that blew me away. Guy’s got the dreamiest falsetto and his live band is excellent. Think I’ve got a new obsession.

Barnstar! and Josh Ritter – Tarrytown Music Hall (5/29/15)

Nothing like seeing your favorite musician play in your favorite venue. I’ve gushed and gushed about Josh before. You get the picture: I adore him. This time his opener was Barnstar!, a bluegrass-for-people-who-don’t-like-bluegrass band, led by Josh’s bassist Zack Hickman. These guys know how to play. No photos this time, but did manage to get a short snippet of Barnstar!’s cover of “When My Time Comes” by Dawes, and Josh’s “Good Man.” Catch these guys live if you can.

Lydia and The Early November – Bowery Ballroom (6/2/15)

Having grown up in New Jersey, I’ve been able to see The Early November play tons of times. So many times that I’ve lost count. When they announced they’d be playing an NYC show, I made sure to grab a ticket. These guys are just as good as I remembered (even without the bassist Serg, who a few people annoyingly kept shouting for). On the downside, I had a killer upper respiratory infection (damn you, tree pollen!). If you attended the show and happened to be standing beside me, sorry if my coughing grossed you out.

Josh Ritter and Damien Rice – Celebrate Brooklyn (6/17/15)

I was already excited about getting to see Damien play in nearby Prospect Park, but when Josh Ritter was added to the bill as an opener, I was ecstatic. Josh was all smiles during his set, as usual. Damien was on the opposite side of the spectrum, playing with devastating angst. It’ll always astound me how doesn’t need a full band backing him to make some noise — just give him a loop pedal and get ready to be blown away.

Andrew Bird – le poisson rouge (6/25/15)

Before departing for a European tour, Andrew Bird played a show here in the city to warm up. Got treated to a few new songs (which sounded great) and lots of old favorites. It was my first time seeing him play a full set, before I’d only seen him as a part of Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders, and that was more than a few years ago. Good to finally hear some of my favorite songs live. In the middle of his set, Andrew talked about how he finds eye contact creepy (I feel you, dude), hence all the closed-eye shots below.

What’s next?

Lots of shows to look forward to this month. Most pumped about getting to see AA Bondy play again, especially since the last time I saw him perform was eight years ago. Good things coming, stay tuned.

Acceptance – Gramercy Theatre

Acceptance Gramercy Theatre

Lately, a bunch of bands I loved in high school have been reuniting and going on tour to celebrate the 10-year anniversaries of some of their more popular albums. I was in high school from 2003-2006, when the pop-punk/”emo” scene was at its peak. Only a few of the bands I listened to back then are still together, so it’s always exciting when reunion shows are announced.

Acceptance was one of those bands that I adored, but rarely got to see live. For starters, they were based out of Seattle and mainly played West Coast shows. The couple times I did get to see them, they were either playing short sets at big festivals like The Bamboozle, or performing opening sets to indifferent crowds.

But despite their small following, they still kicked ass live and put on some memorable shows. I was so pumped after seeing them play at Bamboozle that afterwards Phantoms was the only thing I had playing in my car and my friend had to hide the CD so I’d stop. But seriously, listen to “In the Cold” and just TRY not keeping it on repeat:

While Acceptance really didn’t get much recognition when they were active, ever since they broke up in 2006, they’ve developed a cult following. When they announced they were reuniting and playing Skate and Surf this year, I was thrilled and bought a ticket just for them. Then I found out they were headlining a show here in the city and flipped out completely. I never thought I’d see them play again, and after 9 years I’d have the chance to seem them play twice?!

Turns out lots of other people were just as excited as me to finally see Acceptance back together—the band sold out the Gramercy Theatre. That’s nuts! When they broke up, they were mainly opening shows and hadn’t headlined in New York. Now they’re playing to sold out crowds. Couldn’t have happened to a better band.

And despite not having played together for 9 years, they sounded just as fantastic as the last time I saw them play. Welcome back, guys.

Muse – Webster Hall

Matt Bellamy - Muse - Webster Hall
Muse isn’t just good live. These guys are fucking nuts.

I’d been a fan since 2003, when they released Absolution, but I only got the chance to see them play in 2007, at The Bamboozle. They were the last act of the festival and my friend David was determined to be front row, so we spent the whole day waiting through the sets of several bands neither one of us liked and slowly making our way up front. By the time Muse took the stage, we’d reached the barricade. Muse’s set was the best I’d ever seen, and being up front only made it better.

I hadn’t seen them play since then because they’d mainly been doing arena shows, which I avoid. So when Muse announced they’d be playing a show at Webster Hall, I made sure to grab a ticket. I’ve gone to a number of shows recently, but this Saturday’s Webster Hall gig tops the list. The new songs are great live, and the crowd was tons of fun. Plus, I somehow got a spot at the barricade again. Score. Good music, great view, perfect night.